One Reason Why Rihanna’s New Deal with MAC Isn’t Exactly a ‘No Brainer’

One Reason Why Rihanna’s New Deal with MAC Isn’t Exactly a ‘No Brainer’

Rihanna MAC

Today, MAC announced that they’ve entered into a “creative partnership” with Rihanna to create a line of color cosmetic collections which will be called: RiRi [Hearts] MAC

Here’s what we know so far: 

  • There will be four separate collections that will be released throughout the year.
  • The first product that will be released is RiRi Woo, a play on MAC’s popular Ruby Woo lipstick. They’ll launch RiRi Woo at a specialty pop-up shop at select stops on her Diamonds World tour.
  • Rihanna’s name will appear on the packaging, and her signature will be embossed on the RiRi Woo lipstick case and on the bullets of the summer lipsticks, as well as several of the fall and holiday pieces.
  • The line is estimated to do $15 million at retail globally.
  • A “creative partnership” with a celebrity  is new territory for the make-up company.
  • The company is willing to turn a blind eye toward Rihanna’s tabloid-worthy behavior and lifestyle.

Rihanna describes the partnership as a “no brainer,” and in many ways it is. She’s drop dead gorgeous, she’s a global superstar with no signs of slowing down, millions of people pay attention to her every move and don’t mind spending money to adopt the same beauty, fashion and lifestyle trends that she promotes and she’s a fan of MAC products.

The interesting part about the deal, is how quickly MAC, which is owned by beauty behemoth Estee Lauder, was so quick to overlook the singer’s tabloid-worthy behavior, lifestyle choices (ie. weed smoking in public) and her rekindled relationship with troubled ex Chris Brown.

When WWD asked whether or not the star’s behavior and relationship with Brown would be a downside for the brand, John Dempsey, the group president of Estee Lauder said:

“She’s a grown woman, and whatever makes her happy makes us happy.
Life’s complicated. Far be it for us to judge,” – John Dempsey

Just last year, Rihanna lost an endorsement deal with Nivea because the CEO didn’t think her raunchy image matched the company’s values.

A star’s image is one of the first things that brands consider when they’re thinking about doing a collaboration or partnership. So I think it’s really unprecedented for a well-respected brand like MAC to not only work with Rihanna but to be so upfront and candid about their approval of some of the main things that she’s usually criticized for.

Which brings me to this question:

Should lifestyle brands worry about their star endorsers being good role models or should they just focus on selling the product?

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Photo Credit: John Aquino via WWD